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Clampers help Finley’s Bar & Grill get dedication plaque
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Members of E. Campus Vitus Tuleburg Chapter #69 celebrate the installation of the dedication plaque in front of Finley’s Bar & Grill, one of the area’s oldest establishments. Included are outgoing Humbug Aaron Nelson, ex-Humbug Mark Uecker, and Historian Gary Britt. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT / The Bulletin

It’s one of the oldest establishments in the area.

Finley’s Bar & Grill finally received some long-time recognition thanks to the Clampers.

Most notably, the E. Clampus Vitus Tuleburg Chapter No. 69.

That’s one of the oldest fraternal organization in the U.S. dedicated to preserving the heritage of the American West.

A dedication plaque was erected in front of the business at 10477 S. Airport Way.

“This was a long time coming,” said Aaron Nelson, who is the Chapter president otherwise known as the Noble Grand Humbug.

Friday was his last official day as head of the local Champers, consisting of over 4,000 members. Of that, some 860 from throughout California and Easter Nevada are among the active members — Chapter No. 69 recently donated $700 at the spur of the moment for the Camp Fire relief effort in Paradise, doing so by passing the proverbial hat around at the Escalon Veterans Day Parade.

For Nelson, the timing of the dedication plaque in front of Finley’s couldn’t have been any better.

He along with Deborah Finley and her husband Mark Uecker — he’s a former Humbug of the local Clampers — got together for the creation of the Finley’s Bar & Grill plaque. Historian Gary Britt, who also installed the plaque, verified the information.

Chapter No. 69 also made possible dedication plaques throughout the area, including the Banta Inn and Caswell State Park, to name a few.

“We’re the oldest bar in Manteca,” Uecker said.

The history of Finley’s Bar & Grill goes back to 1903. Back then, John Franklin Jack built the mercantile, which also operated as an illegal card room in the back of the store.

During Prohibition, the place still served spirits due to its location of being outside of city limits.

“That year (1926), the store took on some extra bottles and business was booming,” said the inscription on the plaque.

The owner Jack died in 1928 due to complication from a broken arm.

The recent story of Finley’s Bar & Grill takes on a different twist with reports of paranormal activity — Jack’s presence being among them, Deborah Finley recently said.

She purchased the place in 1993, changing it to its current name.

Finley’s Bar & Grill is a popular watering hole, restaurant and, for some, their favorite haunt.

The doors have never been closed since its opening in 1903.


To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail vrembulat@mantecabulletin.com.